tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN September 11, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
flooding. the city is a top priority right now with water levels climbing institute hardest hit, florida keys. in crisis after taking a drit direct hit during irma's landfall as monster category 4 hurricane. tonight the conditions there are dire and thousands may need to be evacuated. and uncertainty. irma's fury, leaving millions without electricity and many may be powerless for weeks. the governor warning evacuees that returning to their homes now could put their lives at risk. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. >> the breaking news this hour, millions more americans are now under assault by irma as the dangerous storm that hammered much of florida plows north. charleston, south carolina, is in the midst of a
life-threatening flash flood emergency. cities as far inland as far as atlanta at risk from this man assing tropical storm. now jacksonville with floodwaters rising to record high levels. the storm surge in effect this hour. the flooding danger intensifying in a city that didn't expect to suffer so badly from irma's rampage. on the other end of the state, officials are now warning about a potential humanitarian crisis in the florida keys. a large section of the island chain has no water, no power, no cell service. 10,000 people who refused to leave the keys before the storm may need to be evacuated. the keys battered by full force of irma when it made landfall as category 4 hurricane on sunday. the electricity is out across much of florida tonight. more than 6 million people, about two-thirds of the
customers, they are in the dark after irma zigzagged between the state's east and west coast. the storm unleashi ining winds over 100 miles an hour and impacting major cities from miami to tampa to jacksonville. officials warn some places won't have power for weeks. we're covering the breaking story with our correspondents and guests. they're standing by in the areas hardest hit by irma. first, let's go to marco island where irma made its second landfall in florida. cnn's brian todd is on the scene for us. you've been covering this storm through the worst of it. what are the conditions like where you are right now? wonderful, irma hit this spot like a buzz saw. as you look around, you can see the effect it had. roofs like this one, partial roofs, entire roofs, ripped off homes. you've got debris all over the place. wires down, hazardous material all over the streets. now, this is in the southwestern corner of florida. the damage lasts from this tip
of florida all the way to the northeastern part of florida, jacksonville. the largest city geographically in florida, so you've got cities from here up to there just getting their arms about what happened here. florida now fighting to rofr after getting pounded by hours from winds sometimes over 100 miles an hour. every major city in florida impacted by irma's wrath and over 6 million customers left without power. two-thirds of the state. the florida keys hit first in the u.s. with category 4 winds. now with serious flooding and building damage. cut off from power and the mainland. southwest coast of florida hit with winds of 120 miles an hour, scoured into the night with driving rain and whipping winds with skies lit by the occasional canal transformer explosion. naples among the hardest hit, now flooded one block after another and buildings flattened or damaged by the wind.
this is nearby marco island. before and after. and in bonita springs, neighborhoods inundated with waters. >> there's mobiles turned over, mobiles upside down and a lot of water. >> reporter: while the storm tracked up the west side of florida, the east coast was still hit by flooding and high winds. miami had heavy flooding on the downtown water front. construction cranes knocked over and roofs ripped off by the whipping winds. one sailboat ended up on a football field. there were even scattered reports of looting. up the east coast, coastal flooding from broward county up beyond day tone nashgs leaving neighborhoods and businesses under water and houses with their rooftops torn off. as far north as jacksonville, record storm surges causing flooding on the st. john's river and at least one home sliding into the ocean. even inland areas like orlando were not spared with downed trees, downed power lines and flooding. >> we've had over 200 rescues of people that we brought out. and in some places, when you go
back there, the water was chest deep. >> reporter: rescues from flooded neighborhoods continued throughout the night with a total of 6.5 million people in florida told to evacuate. the question now, when can they return home? >> you check with local officials before returning home to make sure can you safely do so. >> reporter: clean-up crews now working on downed trees and branches and clearing sand off roadways. but authorities say parts of florida could be without power for weeks. while spots as far north as charleston, south carolina, are still experiencing flooding from the storm. by the time irma finished with this place, marco island, she left at least 15 homes that had their roofs either ripped off or had other severe damage a cording to the fire department. people here, wolf, tonight are counting themselves as fortunate because hundreds of people live in this area of marco island year-round. only about 40 of them decided to stay. and there are no serious injuries reported.
this is the spot where irma made its second landfall. they're counting themselves as fortunate here tonight. >> we're showing our viewers pictures of trucks going in to restore power in these areas. thanks very, very much. to the flooding emergency in jacksonville, florida, that's unfolding right now. irma hitting the city very hard in the past few hours. kaylee hartung is on the scene for us. floodwaters are rising to historic levels there, right? >> reporter: they are, wolf. the waters of the st. john's river continue to roll through downtown jacksonville. we're about a block from the banks of the river there. can you see the waves crashing against the sea wall. at the river's height today, levels were 5 1/2 feet above what you would normally see here at high tide. at that high tide at 2:00, we first began to see these waters recede. if my cameraman can can swing over to my left here. this street has dried out.
water earlier today about two blocks up that street, but if we rotate to the other side of the street, floodwaters continue. the mayor said don't be fooled when you see pockets like that dry out perform this water is not going anywhere any time soon. the people in downtown jacksonville are facing, they came here for shelter. they came here to be safe from these waters and the effects of the storm because their homes were in places they thought were in more danger. now these floodwaters in jacksonville, a serious concern for so many here as this situation continues to evolve. >> we'll stay in close touch with you. thank you very much. we're getting new video of damage in miami right now where construction cranes were whipped by the hurricane's winds. cnn's john berman is in miami for us. john, we spoke about the danger with all of these cranes on friday before irma hit. and now we know what at least two in miami and one in ft. lauderdale were, in fact, whipped and damaged.
>> reporter: three krans down in southeast florida, showing the damage done to this part of the state was two-fold. number one, the storm surge, can you see the effects around me, the boats pushed up on this marina in coconut grove. five-foot surge in downtown miami. and then the winds. the winds were 100 miles an hour on the tops of the sky rises in the city. we've been told these krans, and there are more than 20 of them in downtown miami, we were told they could withstand gusts of 145 miles an hour. now, clearly we don't believe the wind reached that level, yet the cranes, at least two of them did not stand. at least one appeared to have some kind of issue with a crack in the pulley with the counterbalance and that might have caused it to crash or crack. they don't want to use the term collapse because they didn't fall completely off the
building. officials made clear no one was hurt from these cranes. there was not much other damage to the surrounding buildings. nevertheless, can you see the clear concern with having these types of cranes in an atmosphere like this. there just wasn't enough time to take them down. it takes six weeks -- six days to two weeks to move one of these cranes start to finish. they didn't get that kind of warning. wolf? >> very dangerous situation. could have been a whole lot worse. john berman, thank you. tonight officials are also warning that new oe vak waevacu may be needed in the florida keys, one of the hardest hit. we're joined from key largo. a large section of the keys has no power, no running water, not much of anything. >> reporter: not much of anything, wolf. we're about 60 miles north of where the eye wall came ashore. but it all depends on the structure of your home in terms of what is left of your life. we're in this trailer park here
about mile marker 85 or so. and it is one heartbreak after another. a child's picture book on the ground, the markings of the search and rescue teams who put the date and time they searched that home. unfortunately, zero bodies found inside, zero people found alive. most of these folks we hope would evacuate living in structures like this. good thing, you can see irma's storm surge what it does to a mobile home. this was someone's -- someone's living room and, of course, this is stuff that can be replaced. they will measure this storm in billions of dollars in terms of the total cost some things you cannot put a price on. the memories of the picture box we found before. right now there's so much concern about those people who are completely out of touch. there are facebook missing persons lists out there.
people have been pinging me all day on instagram and twitter, asking if we could check on their parents. i wish i could. i wish i could get further down this road but it's impa passable in many places. the florida department of transportation apparently has by 4:00 today inspected 22 of the 43 bridges that connect this necklace of islands going all the way down to key west. a couple of them are problem areas as well. but the main problem is the cell phones we're so accustomed to, the towers, there's no power for them the further south you get. so we have to use a satellite phone up here near key largo where the best cell service still remains. people don't know if their loved ones can't communication or in more dire circumstances. if they are alive, as you look at my sweaty bum here, we have no air conditioning. there's medications to worry about, those sorts of things. i just saw a convoy of about 15 big tractor/trailers, hopefully full of supplies steaming south
down toward key west. in addition to that, the navy is chipping in an entire aircraft carrier. it's all hands on deck to try to get in there and really assess the human toll of irma, wolf. >> the "uss lincoln" on the way. bill, thank you so much. let's talk about this devastation in the florida keys. it is enormous. we're joined on the phone by monroe county commissioner david rice. thank you for joining us. based on what you've seen and heard, what's what's the level of devastation in your county? >> one of the great problems we have, as you just heard s communication. so, while i'm 100 miles from key west and 120-mile county, the most extreme portion of the county, including marathon and key west, we have extremely limited ability to communicate. certainly we've taken a major hit. we have extensive property
damage. we do not have statistics at the moment on any injuries, loss of life. we will be finding those things out later. >> how many people are without power in your can county? >> at the moment i would be hard pressed to say because i don't believe anybody could really say how many are here at the moment. many people left. others did not. but if you're here, you're probably without power unless you have a generator or you're extremely fortunate. >> those who stayed behind in the keys, are they still in shelters? >> some are in shelters. others are not. the keys have no shelters that are approved. last moment is a refuge of last resort at some category 5 constructed schools.
and i understand many people rode the storm out at that point. as i said, we have very little firsthand information at this time. >> if people who have houses there, who are up north, for example, northern part of florida riding out this storm or they live in other parts of the country, what's your best guess right now, how long before those folks can return to their homes in the keys? >> wolf, i would rather not make a guess because that's an open issue. i think within the next day or two we hope to be able to have safe transit down the keys. d.o.t. has inspected most if not all the bridges at this point. the power companies are secure ing any live lines. the hospitals are not yet reopened. we hope that they will be and expect they will be, at least
two out of the three, perhaps tomorrow morning. at that point, it's certainly more safe for people to come back into the keys but we really have no water to speak of. electricity is very sporadic to nonexistent. it's not a place you want to be at this moment. >> give us a perspective, how much damage has been caused to your county, monroe county, in the keys right now? have you ever seen anything like this before? >> well, yes, i have seen hurricane audrey in louisiana as a child. i've seen hurricane camille that cleared out miles of homes and businesses. we do not appear to be that impacted that the time. >> is your county getting the state and federal help it needs? >> they are absolutely, our
partners with both the state and federal government have been in communication with us. i believe we will see the first c-130 of supplies in within the next couple of hours at the naval air station in key west the state and federal government are really stepping up to the plate. now, it is complicated by the fact that many of the rescue efforts and supply efforts will be by air. and up until almost this very time they would have to fly through a hurricane to get here because the hurricane moved on up the state. so, yes, we're very happy with the response. the navy, as you heard, is sending a carrier that has tremendous capability. it will probably be standing off key west. >> david rice is the mayor of
monroe county -- commissioner, i should say. commissioner, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. and thanks for your help. >> we appreciate everything you're doing. good luck to all the folks there. i thn is a crisis that has unfolded. just ahead, the newest forecast for irma as it endangers those in the south. also tonight, another hurricane that's threatening the u.s. in the days ahead. we'll talk to a national guardsman that's been involved in urgent rescues on an island in crisis after being hammered by irma. we just got to take it one game at a time. next question. odell! can you repeat everything you just said? my livestream won't load. (blows whistle) technical foul! wrong sport. wrong network. see, you need unlimited on verizon. it's america's largest, most reliable 4g lte network. it won't let you down in places like this.
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we're back with break news coverage of the hurricane disaster in florida where officials and residents are just beginning to get a handle on all the destruction. we've also just received some high-resolution satellite images of the damage hurricane irma caused as it slammed into the islands of the caribbean as a category 5 storms. some of these areas rhee remain very difficult for rescue crews to get into. the pictures you're about to see have been provided to us by digital globe. look at this. this is the island of tortola before the storm and after. wow. up next on the turks and caicos islands, this is before irma, this is after. another picture shows phillipsburg on the dutch side of st. martin, before the hurricane and after. and finally, on st. martin
island, this is before the storm and after. we're joined now by a member of the kentucky air national guard who was involved in rescue operations on the dutch caribbean island of st. martin, chief master sergeant aaron may is joining us. chief may, thanks very much for joining us very much. one of the conditions like on the ground, first of all, in st. martin? >> well, wolf, first of all, it's my team's -- my special tactics teams down there right now. i'm back here in louisville, kentucky, helping coordinate the efforts going on down there. from the reports i received from my team, they went directly into the airport sunday and it was basically american citizened dispersed throughout the airport and surrounding areas around the island. our job was to go down there as a special tactics team and start coordinating relief efforts to get those people out of st. martin and back to puerto rico. >> what's the status of the search and rescue operations?
>> as far as the search and rescue operations, our personnel were mainly on the airfield coordinating the relief efforts to get personnel, 1,000 american citizens that were stranded on the island after the actual hurricane passed through, so our personnel went there, established the airport and worked with the dutch military and started bringing in air lift to get personnel out thereof. they evacuated roughly 1,000 people out of that airport into puerto rico. >> any americans left, as far as you know? >> as far as i know, wolf, i do not believe. there may be a few still behind, but as far as our efforts, it was 1,000 people they were able to get from st. martin into puerto rico utilizing air lift from our unit here at louisville, kentucky, and also puerto rico and new york air national guard units. >> do the people who are still there have enough food and supplies? >> wolf, i don't have a solid answer on that. but i do believe they have the
situation from what i understand under control. again, i don't have the exact answer for that question. >> because we are told that on st. martin food is in very, very short supply right now. we've also heard reports of looting going on. i assume you've heard of those reports as well. >> wolf, i can't -- i'd be speculating if i was actually to answer that question. all i know is from what we were going down there to do is to evacuate the american citizens that were there. from what i understand, the dutch military, they have things under control from their perspective. >> let's hope they do. chief master sergeant aaron may, thanks to all you are doing, the men and women involved in this operation. they are saving lives. appreciate it very, very much. let's go to one of the hardest hit areas in florida right now. cnn's ed lavandeira is on marco island where irma made a second landfall. ed, you've been on the move. what kind of damage are you seeing?
>> reporter: hi, wolf, here in goodland, florida, there are about 40 people who rode out the storm here, amazingly enough. it's a community that sits on the edge of the everglades and the gulf of mexico. this is a community that took a direct impact from this storm. many people would probably suggest no one should have been here behind me. a home where gary stringer waited out the storm by himself. he thought this was all going to come crashing down on him. he described how the roof was crackling, the tree next to him was rumbling and then all of a sudden he heard the crack and this is what happened, wolf. this tree collapsed. thankfully not toward him where he was. unfortunately for this family, the tree came crashing down on their house. and the stories of survival here is just absolutely stunning as the people kind of -- the handful of people we've talked to describe what it was like to wait out the storm here in
goodland, florida. this is a small fishing village, couple hundred residents call this home. this is by far the area where we've seen the most intense damage. this is an area where essentially the second landfall of hurricane irma was in here along marco island. we're on the eastern edge of marco island. the winds were 130 miles an hour. at some point the gusts reached up to 140 miles an hour. residents described the storm surge taking over most of this town. 7 feet of water in some places. most of the people we've talked to that were in their homes really thought at some point their houses were going to start splintering apart in those winds. wolf? >> what a sat story, indeed. ed lavandeira on the scene, thank you. also tonight, irma is creating new danger and damage as it moves north into georgia, the carolinas and beyond. this as another hurricane actually looms potentially, potentially threatening the united states. let's check in with our meteorologist tom sater. tom, what's the status of irma right now?
>> irma's tropical storm, the center is 150 miles south of atlanta. moving north-northwest at a good clip at 17 miles per hour. and maximum winds, 50 miles per hour, by tomorrow morning, 40. however, it's already responsible for two fatalities in georgia, one in an atlanta suburb with a fallen tree pipts nice to to see the dryer air move in but we had historic flooding with the st. john's river. it's been shattering records, wolf. let's begin from the very beginning. we watched this as a typical wave coming off the coast of africa. in early infancy we noticed rapid strength, rapid development. in 24-hour period it went from a tropical storm jumped over category 1 status and went to category 2, 3, 4, 5, into the northern islands of the lesser antilles as a category 5, the strongest in history to affect this area. decimating barbuda, antigua, st.
martin and dutch and french authorities are there providing aid. also evacuations. a number of citizens from the dutch are heading back to the netherlands. the united kingdom has another naval vessel on the way to the u.s. virgin islands. the u.s. is is there. they're taking residents from st. martin to san juan. the biggest sigh of relief was in puerto rico and san juan. the eye staying off the land, lashing the island with heavy rain but no direct hit. then it made its way to turks and kay coast, a number of the islands at category 5, the strongest in history to ever affect the turks and caicos. on its way to cuba. for 37 hours, sustaining winds at 185 miles per hour. there has never been a cyclone in the world, a typhoon in the world or any other hurricane that has sustained that kind of strength for that long a period of time. making its way to northern coast of cuba as a category 5, making landfall, the strongest since 1924. lashing with heavy rains on its
western flank, the city streets of havana. most likely the interaction kept us in the u.s. from getting a category 5 landfall but we had our category 4. in the keys, just 16 days after harvey made landfall in rockport, texas, for the first time in history, the u.s. has two category 4 landfalls in the same year. after the keys, landfall. marco island, at the exact same latitude and longitude as wilma, also a category 3, ironic. then the winds, the surge, winds coming in off the coast. that's where jacksonville was hit very early on and had to sustain that for some time. we know the damage, the record storm surge, the 6.5 million without power, as we continue northward, more records with the flooding. as you get to the north, we're watching now jacksonville today hitting 5 1/2 feet in st. john's river. that smashes the record last year from matthew by half a foot. you get up towards savannah and the savannah river. they reached over 12 feet.
just missing the all-time record by 0.2 of a foot. then in charleston, the harbor, water over the battery. 9.92 feet coming in third place behind hugo and matthew. then the warnings started to come out. not just the flash flood warnings but the tornado warnings. we had 69 tornado warnings in a 24-hour period, wolf. the record was 27 and for the first time in history a tropical storm warning for north george goernlgs including the atlanta area. enough is enough. we'll never have another harvey or irma. the last time we had back-to-back retirement names was rita and stan 12 years ago. >> very quickly, tom, what about jose? >> jose came very close to the northern islands. in fact, after they were hit the first time, 24 hours later they had another hurricane watch. missing the islands direct hit, sliding into the northern atlantic. great question, wolf. do not worry at all about jose. it will go in the books as
quickly behind this one but no threat to the u.s. mainland. >> thanks very much, tom sater. ahead, new information on the destruction? florida that's still unfolding right now. our correspondents are all across the area that took a real beating from irma. we'll get a live update after a quick break. (vo) dogs have evolved, but their nutritional needs remain instinctual. that's why there's purina one true instinct. nutrient-dense, protein-rich, real meat number one. this is a different breed of nutrition. purina one, true instinct. another day at the office. why do you put up with it? believe it or not you actually like what you do. even love it. and today, you can do things you never could before.
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the disaster spawned by hurricane irma still unfolding as the storm moves north with potentially deadly winds and flooding. and tonight the full scope of the damage in florida is being revealed. cnn's brian todd is in the hard-hit state. he's in the southwest coast. brian, you've seen some extreme damage. >> reporter: we certainly have, wolf. just a short time ago we came out of a badly flooded neighborhood not far from here in bonita springs, florida. we went there just to survey the damage but we ended up getting involved in the search for an elderly couple stranded in their home. much of bonita springs, florida, is under water. this small, stoic community sandwiched between ft. myers and naples was slammed with irma's highest winds and unrelenting rain when the imperial river flooded, so did this mobile home neighborhood. the imperial bonita estates. when we come back doreen, caretaker of the mobile homes,
she's visibly worried about an elderly couple who decided to stay in their home. through water that sometimes comes up to our waists, water contaminated with oil, chemicals and garbage. we trudge about a mile into the neighborhood. homes are inundated, badly damaged, some are completely overturned. we meet doreen's husband, caretaker of the mobile homes, who couldn't get to the couple. he's shaken by the damage of his neighborhood. we make it to the home of ee death, she's 88 and he has patch kin sons and diabetes. the alarm of their flooded car is buzzing. do you want us to call the fire department or police department? >> no, no, no, no. we're fine. we're doing good. >> reporter: edith says they knew they'd probably have flooding. we asked why they didn't leave when most of their neighbors did? >> difficulty taking care of my husband. we have -- you know, he does good here at home.
he has all of his medications and everything. >> reporter: and a question we often asked of disaster victims like edith and ed, do they want to continue to live in a place so devastated? >> we love it here. we've been here 27 years. this is home. >> reporter: now, we repeatedly offered ed and edith food and water, we offered to call fire and police departments for them, we offered to carry them out of that neighborhood. they repeatedly said, no, they're fine, they have enough supplies for days. edith also told us they have flood insurance so she's very optimistic about how this might turn out. the mayor of bonita springs said they're still trying to get to neighborhoods with fire and rescue crews to see who might be injured or ned rescued. >> what a story that is. brian todd on the scene for us. good work. thank you so much. let's get an update on the conditions north of naples, which was thrashed by hurricane irma. we're joined by the city
manager, bill moss. bill, thanks so much for joining us. as you know, naples is facing right now enormous clean-up. most of the city is still without power. what are your most urgent needs? >> well, wolf, we had all of our employees stationed here in the city all day yesterday and throughout the storm. so that we were able to mobilize quickly at daybreak this morning. our priority was to clear streets of downed trees and tree limbs so we could provide police and fire rescue to our communities and more importantly so we could allow our residents to rush to the city as close as possible. today we made great progress. we did have tidal surge but it wasn't the level we predicted. we were right rat the eye wall. on the backside, the winds
dropped down dramatically. that spared us the worst of the storm surge. so, we had a surge of about three feet but it did not cause nir flooding of structures we've been able to determine so far. some apartment buildings lost their roofs and we've had to relocate people to other city facilities, our community center. generally speaking, there's not a lot of structural damage, although the landscape damage is just very, very significant. >> how many people are without power? >> well, in our city of 20,000, almost all of them are without power. many are without water because when the trees get uprooted, they also break the water mains, so we're in the process of repairing those and getting water restored to everybody. with about 4 million people without power in florida, we have no expectation that power will resume any time soon, so we're telling our citizens that those that are here and those
that evacuated and are returning, that they may be enjoying a 90-degree temperatures without air conditioning for days, maybe even weeks. >> weeks, is that what they're saying before you get power, before you get clean water? >> and that's been our experience. now florida power and light serve this is area. they do have crews out. but thauere's so much work to d and so many power lines down. between our community and place throughout florida, it's going to be a major effort. >> what should people be doing that have homes there in naples? >> we're urging people to stay where they are if they did evacuate. if they come back, they're just going to have to be used to some fairly tough conditions. that seems to be the only option for now. >> good luck to all the people in naples. bill moss, you're the city manager, thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure. thank you. our breaking news coverage continues. next we'll have much more on the threat irma is posing as the storm moves north. plus, we're getting some new
details of its devastating impact in florida. ow's it going? hi! okay, so you've got two friends here. yes. this is the j.d. power award for dependability. now i want you to give it to the friend that you think is most dependable. ohhhh. ughh. wow. that's just not fair. does she have to? she doesn't have to! oh, i don't? no, but it's a tough choice, isn't it? yes. well luckily, chevy makes it a little easier. cause it's the only brand to earn j.d. power dependability awards for cars, trucks and suvs - two years in a row. that's amazing. chevy's a name you can trust!
the cost of the damage caused by hurricane katrina back in 2005. we also received some high-resolution satellite image of the damage hurricane irma caused as it slammed into the islands of the caribbean as a category 5 storm. some of these areas remain very difficult for rescue crews to get into right now. these pictures, by the way, have been provided to us by digital globe. look at this. this is road town on the island of tortola before the storm. and after. next, on the turks and caicos islands, this is before irma, this is after. another picture shows philipsburg on the island of st. martin before the hurricane and after. finally, on st. martin island, this is before the storm and after. pretty devastating. let's go back to florida right now.
cnn's diane gallagher surveying damage for us on anna maria island near tampa. what are you seeing? >> reporter: yeah, wolf, we just got onto the island. they've been waiting, not allowing people on here. residents achieving access just before we did. i want you to see some of these trees that have come down. overall, the damage not as substantial as you would think on a barrier island, but take a look at how large some of these trees that actually came down were. massive roots, huge, old trees, blocking several of the roads here. we want you to see some drone footage of the island. this is a barrier island over tampa. have you no idea, wolf, just how much we have been seeing here. there's water, there's a little bit of stuff, but overall i spoke to some homeowners and they said they were expecting once they were allowed back on the island, not to even have a home. they thought everything was going to be gone. they figured that this was going to be, as it is called, a
barrier for the tampa area. when they got back, they wouldn't have homes. for the most part, a little shingles maybe, some roof is gone. we're basically just seeing trees, like this one. while it is impressive and large, again, the people who live here, while they still do not have power and are not sure when they're going to get it, thought they would return home to far worse than they did. >> thank you. dianne gallagher on the road for us. much more on the breaking news coverage right after this. , wh? i was having a good round, and then my friend, sheila, right as i was stepping into the tee box mentioned a tip a pro gave her. no. yep. did it help? it completely ruined my game. well, the truth is, that advice was never meant for you. i like you. you want to show me your swing? it's too soon. get advice that's right for you. investment management services from td ameritrade.
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breaking news coverage of irma continues in just a moment. there's also breaking news on north korea we're following right now. the united nations security council has just unanimously approved new sanctions on north korea in response to its increasingly aggressive nuclear weapons program. will ripley is in the north korean capital of pyongyang right now, 15th trip to that city. the only western journalist there. how is north korea going to respond to this late breaking development? >> reporter: that's the question we don't know the answer to right now because for several days now south korean intelligence has indicated that north korea is ready at any moment to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile, some thought it would happen over the weekend when they marked a major holiday.
their foundation day, it didn't happen. some thought it may happen today in the aftermath of that united nations vote, the toughest round of sanctions ever imposed against north korea just approved unanimously including yes votes from russia and china, but so far north korea hasn't launched anything. we know it's coming based on previous experience with north korea. it's not a matter of if, but when. meanwhile, kim jong-un, the north korean leader, trying to show the world that he will not back down from his nuclear program. in fact, he gave his nuclear scientists and other contributors to the hydrogen bomb test a hero's welcome in the north korea capital in the weekend. he wined and dined them. they visited amusement parks, museums, they were able to enjoy the few luxuries offered to the privileged few. most people are living a much lower living standard at the expense of north korea continue
to go invest so heavily in the nuclear program that resulted that has led to these sanctions, wolf. >> how does this visit, this current visit compare to some of the earlier ones, will? >> reporter: well, these sanctions are not what the united states wanted. they're a watered down version. they cut textile exports. they can't sell coal, oil, lead or seafood, but north korea has proven time and time again they can get around sanctions and they're economies still manage to grow by 4% last year even though they were the most heavily sanctioned country on earth. >> will ripley reporting for us. will is the only western journalist reporting live from north korea right now. will, will stay in very close touch with you. thanks for that report. finally tonight the united states and the world are remembering the terror attacks of september 11th, 2001.
>> george c cain. >> joseph m.caledrillo. to the families with us on this anniversary, we know that not a single day goes by when you don't think about the loved ones stolen from your life. today our entire nation grieves with you, we mourn them, we honor them and we pledge to never, ever forget them.
and 16 years later, we will certainly never forget that day. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." our coverage continues with erin burnett. the breaking news record flooding more than 6 million without power at this hour, irma now slamming into georgia and the carolinas. plus they left their home in the keys for safer ground and days later no one has heard from this florida woman. we'll talk with the woman's desperate sister. my guests describe his very narrow escape from death. let's go out front. good evening i'm erin burnett. the breaking news, irma's deadly impact. tonight the effects of this hurricane are still being felt at this hour beyond florida. these are live pictures out of south carolina.